I made several crochet gifts for various people this Christmas, but I forgot to take photos of most of them before giving them away. Whoops.
One thing I did make for Christmas, though, was an adorable little sweater vest for Milou, our dog. It looks like it buttons down, but the buttons are really just for decoration. I couldn't find a crochet pattern for a vest, so I modified a dog sweater pattern to make it look like one. Here's how.
I started with this striped dog sweater pattern from the yarn company Bernat. You'll have to sign up if you want to use it (click here to go to the pattern on Bernat's website), but there are tons of other cool, free patterns there, so it might be worth it.
I didn't want to mess with making the vest striped, so I just ignored those instructions. I followed the directions to make the body of the sweater, but stopped short of following the instructions for the leg edging and leg bands.
I made another strip of ribbed crochet stitching, following the same technique as the pattern instructed for the ribbed neck band. I made the strip the same length as the chest part of the vest and sewed it on. I picked out several matching buttons and sewed them down the center of the chest.
I then made shorter and narrower strips of ribbed crochet, just long enough to fit around the vest's leg holes. I used a tapestry needle and yarn to attach them, and that was that.
The actual body of the sweater went pretty quickly, since most of it is double crochet. Once I figured out what kind of ribbing I wanted to add, that didn't take long either.
As far as sizing goes, the medium size on the pattern fit Milou, who is about 25 pounds and lanky. I made the small size for my sister's miniature Schnauzer mix, Grover, but it was way too small.
I took it apart and tried again with a bulkier yarn and a larger crochet hook. That got me closer, but I ended up using the ribbing down the front as the actual middle part of the vest, rather than sewing it on top of the existing sweater. Does that make sense? I used it as an actual spacer, sewing each side of the center to it.
I think the sweater turned out really well - exactly what I was hoping for, and not too difficult. You can't beat that!